100 Things To Do With Just A Pipe Cleaner


Did you know can educate, entertain and exercise your child using just a single pipe cleaner? Oh yes you can! A pipe cleaner is the perfect toy for children of all ages! Don’t believe me? Here’s 100 reasons why..

Jump to age…


3-5 Years:

13. Piggy Tail:

Twist your pipe cleaner into a spiral and pretend it’s a pig’s tail. Tuck it into your child’s pants and let the squealing commence!

14. Cats’ Whiskers:

Time to morph into a different animal. This time, if you want to be extra smart-ass you can discuss why cats have whiskers (i.e. to help them navigate their environment).

15. Easy Shamrock:

Show your preschooler how to make a shamrock using just two easy-peasy steps.

16. Flower:

Like the shamrock but more elaborate. Suggest a specific number of petals and see if your child can make them.

17. Xmas Decs:

Twist your pipe cleaner into a Christmas Decoration. Don’t forget to twist a hook on the end so you can hang it up. Beads optional.

18. Bookmark:

Yup, you can make useful stuff out of pipe cleaners, like this epic bookmark.

19. Pipe Cleaner Snail:

Show your child how to create a simple pipe cleaner snail by twisting the pipe cleaner into a spiral.

20. Badass Pipe Cleaner Snail:

Now see if you can make a 3D pipe cleaner snail. That’s badass, right there.

21. Hair Band:

Create a pipe cleaner hair band. Simples.

22. Necklace:

Ditto a necklace.

23. Bracelet:

It’s easier (and classier) to make a bracelet if you have a few pipe cleaners to hand, but one still looks decent. Beads optional.

24. Air Guitar:

Suggest that your child to use the pipe cleaner as an air guitar. Hilarity guaranteed!

25. Air Drum:

Now demonstrate how to use the pipe cleaner as a drum stick. Just make sure no one important is watching.

26. Magic Wand:

You don’t have to go all show-off like the wand below. A simple untwisted pipe cleaner will suffice, Harry Potter style.

27. Shoelace:

Kids’ shoes are always coming unlaced. Not if they are made of pipe cleaners! Your pipe cleaner will also be easier for your child to manipulate with their little fingers, making learning to tie shoe laces a doddle!

28. Finger Puppet:

Create a finger puppet and then act out a story. When the story’s over, unroll your finger puppet and create a different character for a new story! Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment to add details (eyes, nose) – your child’s imagination is the best equipment.

29. Descriptive Words:

How many words to describe the pipe cleaner can you child name? Furry, Light, Thin, Red, Glitter, Soft, Toy, Stripey, etc. When you feel they are getting stuck, prompt them with various concepts such as length (long, short) or dexterity (flexible, bendy, twisty).

30. Length Lingo:

Take the above activity to the next level with this game. Give your kiddo a pipe cleaner and ask them to make it ‘Shorter’ (they could bend it in half). Now ask them to make it ‘Longer’, then ‘Shortest’, etc. If you have any hair clips to hand you could use it to mark various lengths on the pipe cleaner (see pic below).

31. Cake Toppers:

Create a pipe cleaner cake topper, ideal for birthdays.

32. Learning Letters:

Name a letter and challenge your child to twist their pip cleaner into that latter. Talk about how the letter might be formed. Discus upper and lower case letters.

33. Nifty Numbers:

As above, but numbers. Genius.

34. Splendid Shapes:

Yup, as above, but shapes. Count the number of sides on your shape. Discuss whether your shape is curved or straight. Older children can locate angles and talk about diameter.

35. Decorate Something:

A pretty pip cleaner bow can bling up even the most mundane of items, and it’s great for strengthening fine motor skills.

36. Keyring:

Create a keyring, then use it to attach your keys to your bag, belt, or some place else. You’re SO never losing those bad boys again! Added bonus: this activity strengthens fine motor skills.

37. Flick Soccer:

Scrunch your pipe cleaner into a tiny ball and flick it back and worth to your child.

38. Hat For An Egg:

Random, I know, but every egg deserves a hat.

39. Simple Tiara:

Okay, enough with egg hats! Invite your preschooler to construct this simple tiara with triangles.

40. Fancy Tiara:

Once you’ve perfected the simple tiara, why not have a bash at this slightly more complex version using spirals.

41. Cat Toy:

Give your pipe cleaner to a cat and watch what happens – guaranteed laughs! (Remember to supervise said cat).

42. Simon Says:

Challenge your child to make various items. “Simon says…. make a heart!”

43. Hair Clip:

Construct a fancy hair clip. Cute.

44. Turn-Taking:

Encourage your child to converse with this simple activity. Explain to your child that whoever is holding the pipe cleaner is the only person who can speak. Ask your child a simple question such as “What did you do that was fun today?” Hand the pipe cleaner to your child and encourage him/her to respond. Continue to converse using the pipe cleaner. Variations: This is a great activity to use at dinnertime to keep your child’s attention on the conversation. Hold the pipe cleaner and begin telling a story,  passing the pipe cleaner to another family member to continue the story. Continue passing the pipe cleaner until the story is finished! Be ready for some interesting twists in the plot!

45. Handmade Christmas Ornaments:

Pipe cleaners make fabulous icicles, doncha know? Beads optional.

46. How Many Legs:

Here’s a math activity with a twist (quite literally!) Twist your pipe cleaner into a spider or an octopus and ask ‘how many legs’. Can your child create more legs, less legs. Take a leg away by rolling it up – how many left?

47. Cameleon Game:

Discuss cameleons and how they use their skin as camouflage. Create a pip cleaner cameleon with your child and then find an environment for your cameleon to ‘blend in’. If your pipe cleaner is green, the garden would be a perfect spot. Of course, your cameleon doesn’t have to look as fancy as this fella:

48. Buttonhole:

You don’t have to be attending a wedding to look fancy. Jazz up any outfit with a pipe cleaner buttonhole.

49. Dip Stick:

Use your pipe cleaner to see how deep a mud puddle is. Now try on a different mud puddle. Which puddle was the deepest?